I'm a satisfied cable television customer. My TV signal generally works, I have it bundled with my home internet access and in four years of service I've only had one issue, and it was fixed relatively quickly. The price I pay is average, and though I'm not getting a great deal, I'm also not getting overcharged. When I call my cable provider for any reason, I can usually get through and have my questions answered. By every metric you could choose to assign to my experience, I'm a satisfied customer.

Now let me tell you something that should scare you, no matter what business you're in. If something even slightly better came along as another option for me, I would switch without hesitation. Luckily for my cable provider, they have a near monopoly as my other other option would be satellite. But this situation is not uncommon. The fact is, in today's market customer satisfaction doesn't matter as much as customer loyalty. So how do you generate this loyalty? A small part of that may be your customer service. A greater part is whether your product or service actually delivers. The rest depends on the personality of your brand and whether it gives people a sense of belonging and participation that makes them unlikely to switch no matter what else comes along.

That last part is what word of mouth marketing focuses on. It's what social media can be great at igniting. Most importantly, it's the one thing that only the best companies ever figure out.